OLD Media Moves

New Orleans biz editor, reporter laid off

June 12, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush


Kim Quillen, the business editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, is among the journalists who was laid off Tuesday by the newspaper, which has announced plans to stop publishing seven days a week.

Also laid off was business reporter Ricky Thompson. The paper laid off half of its 169 journalists, according to media reports.

Read Quillen’s Tweets about the experience here. Thompson apparently brought a bottle of Crown Royal to work Tuesday, while Quillen brought a box of Kleenex.

The two remaining business reporters — Rebecca Mowbray and Jaquetta White — have been offered jobs with the new media company that is being formed.

Quillen, a member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers board of directors, has been the newspaper’s business editor for the past seven years, supervising reporters, planning the content of the daily and Sunday business pages, and coordinating coverage with other departments and bureaus. Before that, she was an assistant business editor for seven years.

She joined the paper in 1998 after working three years at the Delaware State News. She has a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington College and a master’s from American University.

Quillen also contributed tips for covering small, private businesses to the business journalism textbook, “Show me the Money: Writing Business and Economics Stories for Mass Communication.”

Talking Biz News has inquiries into the other Newhouse papers — the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register — also dropping daily publishing to see what is happening to their business news desks.

UPDATE: In Mobile, business reporter Ellen Mitchell is staying. Business editor K.A. Turner has an offer that would keep her there but in a role more similar to her assistant managing editor/biz editor duties than pure business editor.

According to the spreadsheet available here, Birmingham News business editor Jerry Underwood has also lost his job, as has banking reporter Russell Hubbard and labor reporter Roy Williams.

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